Welcome to Zenith’s Business Intelligence report on beauty and personal luxury, the third in a series that analyses the advertising, business and consumer behaviour trends shaping different categories.

Like all categories, beauty and personal luxury were deeply disrupted by the pandemic, but the changes in consumer behaviour affected different types of product in different ways. Demand for cosmetics and perfumes fell swiftly as people stopped meeting in person, but sales of skin care and hair care products held up as people focused on giving themselves small treats at home. Skin acre and hair care are also expected to lead growth during the recovery.

Faced with an entirely new and unexpected environment, some beauty brands led the way in using digital media for communication and commerce in 2020. They have been rapidly developing ecommerce technology that gives consumer the confidence to try on products and buy them remotely, while using digital media to substitute effectively for falling traditional magazine and television audiences. But the category as a whole is lagging behind and needs to follow their lead if they are to capitalise on the resurgence in demand expected in 2021 and 2022.

Consumers have changed a lot over the last year, becoming much more vocal about environmental damage and social injustice. Beauty and personal luxury brands will need to do even more to demonstrate to demanding customers how they benefit the world and society.


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